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House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was measures.

Topics

Monument to Fallen SoldiersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and proud to announce to the House that on Thursday, May 10, the community of Tweed, Ontario dedicated a white marble memorial in recognition of our fallen soldiers in the Afghanistan conflict. This monument was the creation of internationally recognized sculptor, Mr. Paul Shier of Tweed.

The local legion, Tweed Branch 428, under the guidance of retired Lieutenant-General Jack Vance, was extremely proud of the turnout for the occasion. Over 500 people attended, including Bravo Company, 1 RCR from CFB Petawawa and a number of Silver Cross wives, mothers and their families.

The locally quarried marble, shaped as a six foot baying wolf, was suitably named The Guardian. Padre Wendell White reminded everyone that this statue would forever resonate in us as a reminder of the supreme sacrifice made by those who heard their nation's call but who did not return to their families and their loved ones.

We as a nation can be proud of Tweed's gesture of sympathy and support for our young men and women in uniform.

National Association of Women and the LawStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the invaluable work of the National Association of Women and the Law.

In celebration of Mother's Day, NAWL hosted a conference “Mothering in Law” to discuss the state of motherhood in this country. It painted a dismal picture.

Under the current employment insurance scheme, one in every three mothers outside of Quebec does not have access to the maternity and parental benefit program. Canada ranks last of OECD countries when it comes to investment in child care.

Now that advocacy and research will no longer be funded, the situation will be even more grim.

Today, women's groups are on Parliament Hill to meet with members of Parliament to urge them to support women's rights and equality, to reform the discriminatory elements of our EI system and to reinstate equality into the mandate of the women's program and fund research to advance the cause of women's rights.

Canadian mothers deserve more than scripted rhetoric and sound bites from the Conservative government. We need a government that truly supports Canadian families.

Age of ConsentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-22, an act to raise the age of consent from 14 years to 16 years of age, was recently adopted by the House of Commons and referred to the Senate. This bill is designed to protect our children against sexual exploitation from adult predators and is widely supported in my riding and across Canada.

The age of protection marks an important step toward strengthening our child protection laws. In our continued commitment toward safer streets and communities, I encourage the Liberal dominated Senate to pass the age of protection legislation into law as soon as possible so that our children can receive this much needed protection.

Since taking office, Canada's new government has made focusing on families a top priority. Initiatives, such as the $2,000 child tax credit and the working income tax benefit, have strengthened Canadian families by giving them the necessary support to meet growing demands.

Again, I urge the Senate to pass Bill C-22 as soon as possible so that it may become law. Our families, our communities and, more important, our youth are counting on it.

Climate ChangeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois would like to point out the triumphant return of the Sedna IV to the port of Montreal on Saturday, May 12.

This majestic three-mast sailing vessel left on September 19, 2005 to document the effects of global warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. The majestic three-mast sailboat has completed a long voyage of 430 days during which sailors, filmmakers and scientists shot more than 600 hours of film that will be used to make the general public aware of the effects of global warming on wildlife and the environment. Jean Lemire stated unequivocally that the effects of global warming are already visible. According to his crew's observations, the average temperature during their winter stay was only -5 ºC with rain and freezing rain every month.

Jean Lemire's team has done a remarkable job and the Bloc Québécois wishes to congratulate and thank him for this vital contribution to our understanding of climate change.

Quebec Family WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the 12th annual Quebec family week to be held this year from May 14 to 20, with the theme “a parent and proud of it”.

This year we will be discussing the parenting concerns of today and obtaining information about the best way to create a quality environment for the family and, above all, how to enhance the role of parents.

The role of a parent is to promote fundamental values, create a loving space, provide unlimited affection and, above all, have a positive impact on the world around us.

Our government has established a new $2,000 child tax credit for every child under 18, resulting in tax relief of $1.5 billion. We are working on behalf of families.

Chinese Exclusion ActStatements By Members

May 14th, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to recognize and to commemorate May 14, 2007, a day that marks the 60th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Anniversaries such as this are always Janus-faced. Looking forward, it befits us all to celebrate the passing of a regrettable time in our recent history. Looking backward, we must also lament the very great injustice perpetrated by the Government of Canada.

Only those directly affected by the head tax will ever truly understand the tremendous hardship it created. Nevertheless, all of us can and must recognize this hardship and learn from it.

History cannot be re-written but the future remains ours to write. By recognizing and commemorating the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, we remember those who suffered unnecessarily and we make a firm commitment never to perpetrate the same injustice again.

Team CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Canada's senior men's hockey team on its victory in the gold medal game in the 2007 World Men's Hockey Championship in Moscow.

Team Canada had a perfect record at the tournament, nine wins and zero losses, the first men's hockey team in 70 years to have a perfect record. In the final game it defeated Finland 4-2, leaving Finland with the silver medal and Russia with the bronze. This is the 24th world hockey championship title for Canada.

We congratulate head coach Andy Murray, the tournament's most valuable player, Rick Nash, Jonathan Toews, who is now the only Canadian to have won two international gold medals, both the junior and the senior, in the same calendar year, and the rest of the young men who made this victory possible.

I am most proud of Shane Doan, who grew up in my constituency, the captain of Team Canada. Many of us have known the Doan family for years and watched Shane grow up and play hockey around Killam and Castor, Alberta. He is an exciting hockey player in Phoenix in the NHL and now also on the international rink.

All of Canada is proud of this outstanding victory of our national men's hockey team. Congratulations.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the federal Conservatives and B.C. Liberals are pushing ahead to spend millions of dollars on the narrow thinking gateway proposal, which will include the expansion of Highway 1 into Vancouver. This transportation strategy is facing growing opposition from residents because it undermines the liveability and environmental sustainability of our region.

The federal government must take the lead by supporting environmentally sustainable solutions. People in East Vancouver and across the region want meaningful consultation from all levels of government, focusing investment on sustainable and achievable transportation initiatives that include better land use decisions, investment in public transit and the efficient use of existing roads and rail.

Expansion and growth at any cost is not an option. Instead, we must work with local communities for ethical and environmentally friendly solutions that meet climate change goals.

I recently held five forums in East Vancouver on climate change in our environment. The message from people was clear and powerful: make public policy decisions that improve our environment, not destroy it.

Minister of National DefenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, things were pretty topsy-turvy this weekend. The fax machine was working overtime.

Today, we have before us a man who has no courage, no convictions, no determination to carry things through. Yet this same man told us he was going to go through with it. We expected the member to show more of a backbone in the face of adversity; we did not expect him to back down at the first sign of difficulty. People should not put themselves at the mercy of polls like that.

Quebeckers are not stupid. They want a leader with a backbone. They want someone who will be there to brave the storm, who can represent the voters without trying to have his cake and eat it too. Quebeckers do not like quitters.

I am therefore asking the Minister of National Defence to reconsider his decision not to attend tomorrow's meeting of the Standing Committee on National Defence.

Le Carrefour High SchoolStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today it was my pleasure to welcome one hundred or so students and their teachers, Christian Laforest, André Dubé, Dominique Gosselin, Éric Noël-De Tilly, Gontran Venne and Réjean Morissette, from the international education program at Gatineau's Le Carrefour high school.

For the past 10 years, this program has been making its mark in the Outaouais with its dynamic teaching methods and humanist approach. The students are encouraged to integrate their knowledge, abilities and know-how through various enrichment activities developed by their dynamic and dedicated teachers.

The students in the international education program are also encouraged to develop a sense of cooperation to prepare them to take an active role in their community.

The Bloc Québécois and I would like to congratulate the Carrefour teachers and students and we wish them great success in all of their endeavours.

Team CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, in Moscow yesterday Team Canada was back on top of the hockey world, world champions once again after a remarkable and historic tournament. It went undefeated. It was the class of the tournament and it won in style with a 4-2 victory over Finland in yesterday's gold medal game.

Team Canada's third win in five years edges Canada past Russia and the Soviet Union's record for most world titles. Head coach Andy Murray said, “our emotional well as Canadian hockey players runs deeper than any other hockey country in the world”. That is true and it goes for all Canadian people as well.

As the team returns home, Parliament and Canadians salute these all Canadian heroes and their gold standard for hockey greatness.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Asia-Pacific gateway and corridor initiative is vital to the economic health and future of British Columbia, western Canada and all Canadians. That is why this Conservative government, as we promised to do, is supporting the gateway with record investments.

Our government is taking the lead. In budget 2006 we committed $591 million to the gateway. In budget 2007 we increased the amount to $1 billion. Last week we announced infrastructure projects across B.C. We are delivering on our promises and Canada will be the stronger for it.

Premier Gordon Campbell said it best last week. He said, “the B.C. caucus of the federal government, the Conservative caucus has done a great job of grabbing this initiative, of understanding this initiative, of recognizing it's an initiative not just for British Columbia, that it's an initiative for all of Canada”.

This Conservative government is investing in infrastructure, expanding our trade capacity and building a stronger, better Canada, exactly what we were elected to do.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, no party in the House has a monopoly on patriotism. No party has a monopoly on support for our troops or for the mission. No government has the right to hide behind our troops when the government is subjected to scrutiny in the House. That is what happened at Petawawa on Friday.

Why does the Prime Minister persist in believing that when the opposition does its job, which democracy requires, we are “tarnishing the reputation of our troops”?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, it is quite right that the Prime Minister was at a rally in support of our troops at the base in Petawawa on Friday. I observed that he was very well received by the troops and the families of the troops there, which I think is a strong signal.

However, I will say this much. We do not hide behind our troops; we stand behind our troops.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues its campaign of obfuscation on the end of the mission in Kandahar in 2009.

In the House the Prime Minister has committed to end the mission in February 2009. However, on Friday in Petawawa he said that we could not set an arbitrary deadline when our work had not ended.

Why will the Prime Minister not commit to end the combat mission in 2009, start working with NATO to ensure an orderly rotation from Kandahar when our mission ends?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, it is always difficult to take questions like this from the Liberal Party because its position is actually different every day. In fact, one national leader has said, “We can't give up on the mission until we have deployed everything to ensure it works”. Who said that? It was the Liberal leader just six months ago.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are continuing to hear different answers to very simple questions. The Prime Minister is saying that it is too early to say whether he plans to honour his own withdrawal date in 2009. At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is telling this House that talks are under way with NATO about committing troops to Afghanistan.

Is Canada already in talks with NATO about rotating our troops out of Kandahar in 2009?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House have made it clear, when we put forward a resolution to the House, that our troops are there on a commitment until February 2009. That is the commitment of the government right now. Obviously, when it comes time to re-evaluate that, we will come back to the House.

There is one difference between the approach of this government and the approach of the previous Liberal government. The Liberals sent the troops there. They sent them into the south of Afghanistan. They never once came to the House for a vote approving those decisions.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. House leader can do his best to brush this matter off, but the fact is we know in the House that the highest loyalty to our troops is if we do our job here to hold the government to account for the very mission that they risk their lives for every day.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that his consistent partisan attacks on the patriotism of those who sincerely support our troops while having legitimate concerns about how the mission is being managed are undermining support for the mission in this country and failing the very troops that the Conservatives use as a cover to stifle debate on this crucial issue?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I have a great deal of respect for the member for Toronto Centre, former minister of defence, former interim leader of the party.

When the question about supporting the mission to February 2009 came up for a vote in the House, that very member, who was interim leader of the party at that time, supported the commitment to keep the troops there until 2009. However, his subsequent leader, the current Liberal leader, voted against it that very same night.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the consistent approach of the member and the government is to stifle legitimate debate about this mission and impugn the motives of members of the House, who are every bit as patriotic as the Prime Minister and every person sitting over there.

I call on the Prime Minister to change his approach before it is too late. His attacks are undermining the foundation of our democracy, which is informed debate in the House. Our troops know that. They are fighting in Afghanistan for those principles.

Do they not realize the ultimate betrayal of their sacrifice is to stand well back, not hide behind them, but stand so far back? They know how far back—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. the government House leader.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to consistency, the people of Canada know where this government stands. We stand firmly, clearly behind our troops and behind their mission. It is not like the Liberal Party or its leader which change their position all the time. We are proud to stand behind our troops, the way our Prime Minister did at that rally on Friday. It would have been nice if a Liberal member had bothered to show up at that rally.

Electoral Boundary ReadjustmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker—

Electoral Boundary ReadjustmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!